What Do We Cling To?

In checking the church mail at the Post Office this morning, I encountered a gentleman who appeared to me to be 80+ years old and in bad health.  His voice sounded like a someone with a serious case of pneumonia, and indeed he was coughing almost constantly.  He also had an oxygen bottle “in-tow”.  He was pleasant enough when I said hello.  He coughed and extended a hand to shake.  In the course of the short chat that followed, I learned that he was just over 60 years old and was a lifelong smoker.  He had a laundry list of reparatory troubles and I assured him that I would pray for him.  While fairly friendly, his attitude changed when I brought up church and the Lord.  He acted uncomfortable and it was then he decided it was time to go.

I watched as he climbed in his pickup truck with his mail and his little oxygen bottle, closed the cab door, and lit a cigarette.  My mind then turned this into an object lesson…

This gentleman was being destroyed physically by holding on to cigarettes.  Even at the point of constant coughing and the need to have oxygen all the time, he would not turn loose of that vice.  Exactly how much different is sin in our lives?

Sin is the ultimate root cause of death.  It was by the sin of one man that death entered in (Romans 5:12).  It is for sin that we all deserve nothing less than both physical death and spiritual death.  For far too many, the sin is more important than the sickness and death it brings.  Even professed “Christians” continue to hold on to certain sins that they perceive as maybe “less bad”.  Particularly sad are those who, leaning on Jesus’ words when He said that no-one can pluck His sheep from His hand (John 10:28), continue in glaring sin, seemingly unrepentant towards their actions and behaviors (or their inaction).  They seem to want to “continue in sin that grace might abound” (Romans 6:1).

And much like this gentleman I met this morning – whether a professed Christian or not, most – when confronted with the things of God – even the mention sometimes, causes them to recoil and either get angry or flee.

God’s Word does not list “denial” as a method of overcoming sin in our lives. Only is clinging to Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, minds, and souls can we have hope of defeating that which is killing us eternally.  Only through the poured out blood of the Lamb of Christ can wash away our sins and cut the chains to our very slavery to sin.

It is only by genuine, redeeming faith (a gift from the Father, by His Grace) that we can, as Romans 8:37-38 tells us, be victorious overcomes.  But we must give up clinging to those things that are destroying us – give up the sin that we so desperately seem to want to dwell in – and instead, draw near to the One who gave His life on the cross of Calvary for you.  Cut the chains of slavery.  Repent!  Believe!

What are you clinging to?

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